ST. PAUL — Minnesota hunters and farmers could soon carry handheld tools to test deer for fatal brain disease in the field. In labs across the University of Minnesota Twin Cities campus, scientists are months away from making that a reality. After lawmakers and the governor approved $1.8 million to fund the creation of a test to detect chronic wasting disease within hours, rather than days, a team of veterinary experts, microbiologists, genomics professors and engineers started a two-year timeline to create a breakthrough tool to test for the disease.
ST. PAUL — Reproductive rights advocates, religious and health care groups are banding together to take a new tack at rolling back state restrictions on abortions: attempting to root them out in the courts. In a complaint filed Wednesday, May 29 in Ramsey County District Court, the groups challenged a slate of state laws that restrict access to abortion and limit advertisement of treatments for sexually transmitted infection, alleging they run afoul of the Minnesota Constitution.
ST. PAUL — Minnesotans won't see a tax hike on gasoline but will see tougher restrictions behind the wheel for those using a cellphone. A tax on medical providers will remain in place but a state-run health insurance buy-in option won't be available in the next couple years. Minnesotans who vape won't be able to use e-cigarettes in bars and restaurants but people 18 and older will still be able to buy them.
ST. PAUL — Drug distributors and manufacturers will be required to help pay for some of the aftermath of the opioid epidemic in Minnesota after Gov. Tim Walz on Wednesday, May 22, signed into law a sweeping package of legislation. The DFL governor announced that he signed into law the package that would require opioid distributors to pay fees expected to total more than $20 million. Those funds would be used to provide education and prevention programs as well as treatment programs.
ST. PAUL — Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz on Wednesday, May 22, signed into law a sweeping set of policies aimed at protecting elder and vulnerable adults. The move comes days after the state House of Representatives and Senate passed the package which will require licensing of assisted living facilities, ensure the rights of residents and allow residents and their families to record in their rooms to guard against abuse.
ST. PAUL — Lawmakers closed out the 2019 session on Monday, May 20, with work left undone and will have to return to the Capitol to finish it. Gov. Tim Walz has said he'll call a special session, likely on Friday, but he hadn't done that yet on Wednesday afternoon. Before lawmakers make the drive back to the Capitol, here's a look at what they're dealing with and what Minnesotans can expect. Why are they going into a special session anyway? Minnesota lawmakers had until Monday, May 20, at midnight to wrap up a two-year budget. And they couldn't quite get there.
ST. PAUL — Details of pieces of a $48 billion state spending plan slowly rolled out Wednesday, May, 22, after they'd been weighed and agreed to behind closed doors. Lawmakers missed the deadline Monday, May 20, night to finish their work, and with just one of nine budgets approved by both the House and the Senate, they still have a lot of work yet to do.
ST. PAUL — Hundreds of protesters rallied at the Minnesota Capitol on Tuesday, May 21, to oppose restrictions on abortions like those recently considered and signed into law in Alabama and other states. Reproductive rights advocacy groups, state lawmakers and those who'd experienced abortion procedures spoke at the event and urged state legislators not to restrict abortion access. And for those who introduced or supported similar legislation, protesters said they'd work to vote them out of office.
ST. PAUL — Minnesota legislative leaders and the governor on Wednesday, May 15, continued the second day of marathon budget talks, which they said entered a "really important time." The seemingly productive talks come after a series of negotiations that ended in deadlocks, stalling progress in advancing a two-year state budget expected to top $48 billion. A day prior, the leaders spent more than 10 hours talking through how they might bring their budgets closer together in the last week of the legislative session.
ST. PAUL — Legislative leaders and the governor reentered closed-door budget negotiations Tuesday, May 14, a day after they deadlocked and broke off talks. For more than eight hours on Tuesday afternoon, Gov. Tim Walz, Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka, R-Nisswa, and House Speaker Melissa Hortman, D-Brooklyn Park, discussed possible paths to a timely budget deal. Democrats and Republicans sit on either side of a $2 billion divide in terms of how much the state should spend over the next two years.